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We are going into the new year in a couple of days. New year means new resolutions. Right? That is what all of us strive for. Bettering ourselves. For many that can include getting in shape, getting healthy, getting our homes organized, getting our finances in check. Yes, all of these are in my thoughts as the 2021 approaches.

This past year has been a rough one for most of us in one way or another. So, of course we would expect nothing but the best as we go into the new year. I would hope we would anyways. One word that is coming to my mind this morning, though, is freedom. What does that look like? To American's freedom is a privelage that we most often take for granted. We have a privelage that most other countries do not have. To vote, to go to college, to make a life for our families that others most of the time does not get to do. The freedom is there though.

Now I'm looking at an inward freedom. Something that is tangible but you can not physically see unless you act on it. The freedom to love and forgive. These two words are dear to me. They have allowed me to understand how to love and forgive myself, and others. They have allowed me to not stay in bondage of hating or dwelling on my own shortcomings and others. They have allowed me to see the light, see past situations that could have continued to hold me in a state of mind, that would have left me stuck in that moment in time.

This past year was 2020. What do you think of when you say 2020? I think of 20/20 vision. What does that mean? That means seeing your surroundings clearly. There is not blurriness. Take it from someone who needs glasses to see ten feet in front of me. It's not fun not being able to see clearly. It causes you to not make out what is coming at you. It can cause you to stumble if something is on the floor and you can't see it. Unforgiveness and hate can cause this for you. It is like a blinder over your hearts eyes not seeing the full situation for what it is. It causes you to not have grace in the situation. Everyone of us needs grace because we are all humans and all have shortcomings. We are being molded everyday by our thoughts, actions, and decisions. The health of our heart and its eyesight into the situation depends on these three factors. We have to choose to recognize when we are allowing unforgiveness and bitterness into our hearts. We have to choose to shoot down those thoughts when they come to mind and not let it trickle down to our heart. We then need to take action and replace it with a different thought.

The scripture that helps me understand the concept of replacing what is not beneficial to me as a person (Read Galations 5 to understand that unforgiveness is actually considered evil. There is a reason that God says to forgive your neighbor over and over.) is Matthew 12:43-45. "When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live their. And the final condition of that person is worse then the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation." You see it is easy to ask for forgiveness or say you forgive yourself, just like its easy to say I'm going to lose weight and you pay for the gym. You have to continue to take action everyday in both cases. You have to eat right and go to the gym consistently to see results. You also have to daily show love and kindness to everyone including the ones that did you wrong. Because lets face it you have been in the others person shoes haven't you? You have need grace at some point. Sowing and reaping is not just for tithing. I believe it is in every aspect of life. You reap joy if so joy. Your reap peace if you sow peace. Here is how I am going to wrap up this blog. Choose freedom. Choose to allow unforgiveness and hate and bitterness to leave you as you go into the new year. Allow yourself to see others actions clearly. I'm not saying condone situations, but don't hate. God is the ultimate judge. If they have done wrong, God knows. He deals with everyone accordingly, including you and including me. He knows every person's heart. He know motives, he knows thoughts. People say there is no sense in trying to be perfect. Yes I agree that can get you in trouble in blind you also. But we can strive to be better. God can mold you into a person that you could have never imagined. In order for that to happen though you have to allow him the freedom to. That starts with giving him your heart, and allowing him start taking what hinders him from moving in your life completely. He acts through love. Read 1 Corinthians 13 to understand what love looks like. If you start acting in love, he can start moving situations in a directions that benefits Him, you, and everyone around you.

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